Abstract

We describe an operational, self-contained, fully autonomous Raman lidar system that has been developed for unattended, around-the-clock atmospheric profiling of water vapor, aerosols, and clouds. During a 1996 three-week intensive observational period, the system operated during all periods of good weather (339 out of 504 h), including one continuous five-day period. The system is based on a dual-field-of-view design that provides excellent daytime capability without sacrificing nighttime performance. It is fully computer automated and runs unattended following a simple, brief (∼5-min) start-up period. We discuss the theory and design of the system and present detailed analyses of the derivation of water-vapor profiles from the lidar measurements.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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